April 15th Lenten Devotional

Aftermath and Hope

Julie Holm

Luke 23:50-56

There is something very empty and barren about the day we call Holy Saturday.  All scripture tells us is that the disciples kept the Sabbath.  What would it have been like to be a disciple that day?   You thought Jesus was a great Prophet maybe the Messiah, you thought he could do anything, but now?  It’s all gone.   Unlike us, who are not able to view the events of Holy Week without knowing about the resurrection, they had no idea what God had in mind.

I grew up Roman Catholic and every year went to the Easter Vigil.   One year, as a young woman, I attended one at Catholic University in Washington DC.  At midnight, in the woods, after a quiet day, we walked in the cold and dark, silently grieving, before that moment when light broke the darkness and a bonfire broke the cold.   It was a dramatic moment.

No Gospel includes this moment in the dark, in the night before dawn.   The moment we can’t know or understand, when the time of grieving and terror was suddenly, wondrously, transformed into life and joy and hope.  Every year I try to get to a Vigil, because it feeds me with that moment.   The service relies on symbols of light, of water, of word, and of the table to bring us from our bereft state to the most glorious celebration we have been given by God.

There is probably a vigil in your area, too.  Try it.

Rev. Julie Holm pastors the Brush Valley Fusion of Faith in Rebersburg and Madisonburg, PA:  St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, St. Peter’s Lutheran (ELCA) and Christ United Church of Christ. She is one of the editors of this volume.

©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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